Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Southern Atlantic Ocean Rowers Capsized

After a 2,700 mile row and 73 days at sea our friend and Fox Sculpture advocate Jorden Hanssen and his crew had to abort their remarkable attempt to row across nearly 4,000 miles of ocean from the western coast of Africa, Dakar, Senegal to Miami, Florida.  This is one of the broadest stretches of open Atlantic Ocean.  The distance being about 1,000 miles longer than Harbo and Samuelsen's legendary North Atlantic crossing aboard Fox in 1896.

Hanssen and his 3-man crew were capsized in their 29 ft. ocean rowboat.  They were unable to right the boat and activated rescue beacons and a life raft which they maned while waiting for rescue.  Their journey ended about 400 miles north of Puerto Rico.

Capsizing is a real danger in any small boat ocean crossing.  In 1896, the Fox was broadsided mid-Atlantic and capsized however Harbo and Samuelsen both tossed out of the  boat, righted the 18 foot vessel, with handrails they had built especially on the keel. Loosing many articles and food stores they continued rowing north to the shipping lanes and hailed the Bark, Cito (a square sailing ship) who replenished the Fox's  supplies and gave Harbo and Samuelsen a meal onboard.  After their visit and weeks later, the Fox, 55 days from New York Harbor,  arrived at Britain's Sicily Islands.

Jorden in a letter supporting our Fox Sculpture Project credited his inspiration in ocean rowing to the original Fox crossing.  Although made in a comparatively primitive open wooden boat the Fox crossing was never bested for 114 years.

Whether these crossing are made by modern vessels or not they require the same legendary iron men that sailed wooden ships.  We know Jorden will return again to make continued attempts at ocean crossings.

You may like to learn more about Jorden Hanssen at his blog OAR Northwest or view his recent Today Show Interview.

Best regards, Bill